Thursday, January 29, 2015

THOUGHT WE WOULD HAVE HEARD BY NOW

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Cloudy High 65) 

We still do not know anything more about our new home. The lack of communication with this dealer is horrendous. We have emailed and made numerous calls and talked to just about everybody there, including the general manager, and yet we still get nothing except a promise to call back no matter what they find out, so many broken promises. We cannot recommend this dealership to anybody, it unfortunately is fairly common that you have to beg, plead and cajole just to get good service.

We thought we would have heard by now and we would have blogged on it along with our visit to Quartzsite so here goes our recent visit to Q. We took a day trip from Goodyear and no matter how often we take the trip it still is amazing to see the vast numbers of RVs as you come over the hill. It was so windy that we didn't want to have sand covered food so we ate at a sit down place called Times 3. The food was real good but the service was real sloooooow. The traffic was bad as usual.



The big tent was packed. We got some shoe inserts, pillows and mustard.



We got some ice cream at Dairy Queen on the way out of town. A great day had by all.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE GAMBLER, HAIL DAMAGE REPAIR

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 42 Mostly Sunny High 70) 

We recently saw the movie "The Gambler".



We liked this movie but it is not one that we can recommend because it not a great subject matter plus it is kind of dark and moody. The theme of the movie is 'the only way out is all in' and it deals with the character played by Mark Wahlberg and his addiction to gambling.

Sometimes you go to movies and enjoy the performances. Both Wahlberg and John Goodman were really good in it, although in one scene Goodman really needed a large towel. Those who see the movie will understand.

We are getting the damage to our truck due to hail damage fixed this week. We got hit by hail in the Denver area in September and did not realize how bad it was until we had a mobile repair company give us an estimate. There are so many dents that they needed the truck in the shop for a few days. We are now driving a rental car, a Chrysler 200.


It feels like we are riding on a skate board. We are so used to be riding high in the truck and seeing over other vehicles. We are also used to the great mirrors of the truck, these little side mirrors are hard to get used to. It should only be a few days that we are skating along.

We did get a call Monday on our new fifth wheel. It is supposed to ship late this week and be in Tucson next week. They will need some time to do their walkthrough and add the satellite dish and washer/dryer so we are looking at the first of February to get our new home. We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A GREAT DAY AND DIESEL PRICES

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 42 Sunny High 74) 

We had a great day in the desert Saturday. We started it off at the Estrella Lakeside Farmers Market. It is held at the Yacht Club on Estrella Lake south of us.



We walked around and bought a few things but mostly enjoyed the great weather, mid 70s and sunny with a light breeze. We then left and shopped at Fry's Grocery. For one day only they were having a 4x fuel points on gift card purchases, $25 gets you 100 fuel points which gets you 10 cents off a gallon. We bought gift cards for places we normally eat at and bought some groceries. With our discount of 50 cents per gallon here is the price we paid.



The discount is limited to 35 gallons so this is what we paid, adding whatever would not fit into the truck tank into our auxiliary fuel tank.



A great day, shopping and diesel like we haven't seen in a long time, even if we had to buy gift cards to get there.

We couldn't take it anymore and called our salesman on our rig. There was a delay at the factory due to snow and he thought somebody else would call me. Monday we are supposed to get a phone call and a list of options to make sure we are getting what we think we are, we will let you know.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, January 15, 2015

UNBROKEN

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Sunny High 68) 

We recently saw the movie 'Unbroken'.



The amazing true story of Louie Zamperini who was an Olympic athlete then a WW II Army Air Corps bombardier captured by the Japanese. The movie details his less than stellar youth and how he turned that around and into an Olympic athlete competing in the 1936 Olympics (he finished 8th in the 5,000 but his last lap was the fastest ever and that record stood for a number of years). 

The movie gets a little gruesome with his capture and treatment by the Japanese and ends with him being set free. For us the movie ended a little too soon. He was unbroken by the Japanese but did not let that situation embitter him. He turned his life around, became a Christian motivational speaker and forgave his captors. He even traveled to Japan to visit the war criminals in prison hugging and forgiving those who acknowledged that they knew him. In 1988 he ran with the Olympic torch in Japan before the Nagano Olympics. To be fair some of this was covered in the film, but nothing about the Christian aspect and only in the credits, there should have been more.

We recommend this movie, even with the brutal treatment depicted.

We surprisingly have no update on when we will be getting our new fifth wheel. We got the call over a week ago that it was on its way but all calls after that requesting an update have not been returned.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, January 8, 2015

OUR LAST TRIP TO THE MUSEUM

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Partly Sunny High 68) 

We recently took our last trip to the Museum. We saw "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb".



The third installment of the Ben Stiller films where he is a night watchman at a museum where the exhibits come to life at night time. During this movie we find out what the secret of the tomb is and how it causes this behavior. The magic was disappearing so the secret had to be learned so they could reverse it. The three movies were certainly not academy award winners but they were good fun.

More than just the last movie in this series it was also the last movie for screen legend Mickey Rooney and for Robin Williams. We will miss all of them.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WE ARE GETTING A NEW FIVER, PART 2

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 37 Sunny High 68) 

We got some news yesterday, our new home is on its way to Arizona so we thought we might show some photos. Here are shots of our new home from the web, first the floorplan




The interior








Lots of storage






Bob's friend from college Mike photoshopped the photo of us at Yosemite and the new Lifestyle, we think we are going to use this for our business cards.



We are anxious for our new home, the likely date is now January 14th to take our Cameo there and move into our new home

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, January 3, 2015

WINDOWS 8 AND THE YOGA LAPTOP/TABLET

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 28 Sunny High 58) 

As previously mentioned we have had a lot of changes lately. One of those was a new computer and a new operating system. We have been leery of Windows 8 for awhile but our old laptop was on its last legs so we figured it was time. We got a Yoga laptop/tablet with Windows 8.1. The Yoga is a fold-able device 





that can be a laptop.





A tablet



In stand mode.





For the most part we are impressed with the Yoga. Bob uses it in desktop mode in the morning for blog, email, etc. Then at night while watching TV it is in tablet mode. Windows 8 has not been as bad as we thought although there a few quirks that require a restart but the machine is so fast that doesn't matter much. The virus scanning now takes minutes instead of hours. What we use the Yoga for (Chrome Browser, Quicken, Outlook) it seems like we are in the earlier Windows mode a lot more than Windows 8. The Windows 8 screen has a button to get you into this earlier Windows mode at a click. Plus you can add the above programs to the Windows mode start screen or the Windows mode taskbar. Here is that look and feel on our new Yoga.




With a fully featured browser there is not the need for a lot of apps like you would in an android device. It was one of the easiest transitions from one computer to another that we have had in a long time.

Till next time

Bob and Jo

Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR! - 2014 YEAR IN REVIEW


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 31 Mostly Sunny High 46)

Happy New Year! What a year we had! It was another year of adventures both planned and unplanned. Here is a brief summary of what has happened in our lives in 2014.

We spent last Christmas in our winter spot in Goodyear Arizona just west of Phoenix leaving in early April for the Lake Havasu Arizona area. Again this year we were able to check off a lot from our bucket list on our trip along the west coast circling back to Goodyear. We celebrated our 5th year of living fulltime in an RV in September. Among the bucket list items were the London Bridge, Da Vinci Exhibit, Reagan Presidential Library, Hearst Castle, saw a grizzly bear, saw bighorn sheep, Buffalo Bill gravesite, Mother Cabrini Shrine, and we saw a crested saguaro.





We also visited a number of National Parks (every National Park is on our bucket list); Joshua Tree, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Glacier.






We were along the coast for some great scenery, lighthouses and seafood in Morro Bay California, Moss Landing California, North Bend Oregon, Newport Oregon, and Long Beach Washington. 










We also attended our first RV Rally, the Oregon Cascaders Rally in Westfir Oregon. Another first was lot sitting at Escapees North Ranch where we did ATVng in the desert, target shooting, crested saguaro, etc. We added California, Oregon and Washington to our map of visited states. These were the planned adventures.

What we did not plan on was some maintenance issues that caused some distress and time delays. Our old nemesis the dining room slideout problems reared its ugly head again this year. While staying at the Emigrant Lake Recreation Area near Ashland Oregon we needed a new gear and this time we were able to make the modification that Bob read about on the internet. The slideout worked the rest of the year. We had a new nemesis this year, no trailer brakes. Long story short is that we would replace something and it would work for awhile, then replace something else and so on. Finally in Albuquerque New Mexico we found that the wire that ran along the axle from one set of brakes to the other had worn down to bare wire and was shorting out. We have had trailer brakes since then. Finally we had some hail damage while in Colorado.

Every year we jam a lifetime of vacations into one year but there is still so much more to see and do. This year we plan on heading to Maine for summer then work our way down the east coast to Florida for the winter adding a number of visited states.
We hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, December 29, 2014

OUR LAST TRIP TO MIDDLE EARTH

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 30 Sunny High 57) 

What began for us in 2001 when we took our first trip to Middle Earth to see "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings" has ended. Six movies later we have taken our last trip to Middle Earth, the mythical creation of J. R. R. Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbitt. We recently saw "The Hobbitt: Battle of the 5 Armies".



We are sad that our visits to Middle Earth has ended. Neither one of us have ever read the books. We went to the first movie because some of our friends were giddy with excitement to see them and we were hooked. "Battle of the 5 Armies" concludes the 3 movies made from one book, "The Hobbitt". To be honest they probably should have stuck with the original plan to make 2 movies as the 2nd and 3rd movies drug a little in spots and could have been combined. But that way they wouldn't have made so much money.

In this movie Bilbo Baggins and the dwarfs have reclaimed the dwarf kingdom under the mountain from Smaug the dragon. Smaug attacked the humans in the nearby community and once that was resolved the humans and elves want their share of the treasures under the mountain. War is about to break out when an army of Orcs arrives, the old saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend applies and the humans, elves and dwarfs combine forces to fight the Orcs and defeat the first wave. A second wave is also thwarted when the giant eagles arrive.

Another great Peter Jackson directed visit to Middle Earth. 6 movies and 13 years later and we still want more. There are rumors that another movie either based on Tolkien's "Silmarillion" or an original work is being thought about, if they can make money you know they will try. We hope we can visit Middle Earth again but only if it is a good movie and not one just thrown together to make money. 

It is hard to recommend this movie; if you have visited Middle Earth before you probably already have plans for your return visit. If this would be your first visit it may not work out for you.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Mostly Sunny High 60)

Merry Christmas to all, "Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people".




Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WE ARE GETTING A NEW FIVER, PART 1

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Partly Cloudy High 61) 

Subtitled: How we got to where we are today.

We like our current 5th wheel, Carriage Cameo, a lot but were amazed at the room that are in the wider body fifth wheels like the Carri-Lite. When Lifestyle RV started making wide bodies we made the huge mistake of visiting a RV dealer in Albuquerque. Bet you can guess the rest, we found a floorplan that we liked and were flabbergasted how a few inches wider, taller and longer made it seem sooooo much bigger inside.

It was a 2014 and we were real close to buying it but it didn't have the options we wanted, specifically dual pane windows, so we headed on down the road in our Cameo. Bob researched all the options and spec'd out what we wanted figuring we would have to order one. After we got to our winter home we drove to Tucson to see the floorplan again and compare it to others. Our earlier conclusion was verified and we were prepared to leave.

The dealer had other ideas. After a lot of back and forth, from modifying the unit there to a unit already on order we finally came to an agreement. With the Christmas break and potential weather issues our new home is expected in Tucson in early January.

Part 2 will deal with our new home. In the mean time here is an exterior shot showing our paint colors.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Partly Cloudy High 74) 

We have been real busy lately with Doctors appointments and getting settled in Goodyear. Plus we are dealing with a lot of changes in our lives so we haven't done much blogging. With Christmas being so close we decided we still needed a little outside decorating. What we like about these decorations is that they look almost as good in the daytime as when lighted at night.




No inside decorating for us this year as we are getting a new fifth wheel in a few weeks (more on that in a future post). On top of that we have a new bank so Bob is changing all the billpay information. All the while trying to learn Windows 8 on a new computer. Lot of fodder for future blog posts for sure.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SAW HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Clouds High 71) 

We recently saw Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.




Part of the Hunger Games trilogy of books made into 4 movies if that makes sense. We guess it does for all the money they are making. The Hunger Games trilogy is the top seller on Amazon surpassing the Harry Potter series so they have a huge built in audience.

The story is set in a world that has survived an apocalyptic event resulting in a central Capitol that is modern and prosperous and a number of districts that perform all the work for the Capitol and reap none of the benefits. Hunger Games are held with two contestants from each district in a fight to the death. The victor wins food and supplies for their district. It is a way for the Capitol to exert control. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen who volunteers for the Hunger Games when her younger sister is chosen at random. The movies deal with her first Hunger Games and then future events as she becomes the focal point of the districts rebellion against the Capitol. The first two movies, Hunger Games, and Hunger Games: Catching Fire were both good. To describe this movie is best to use a baseball analogy. This movie setups the climax in Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and is kind of like the middle reliever in a baseball. The starters are done with, the first two movies, and your closer is waiting in the wings, the final movie in the series. What the author accomplished in 1 book the movies do it in two to garner more money. We like the movies so much we fell into their trap.

If you liked the first two Hunger Games you need to see this one, but don't make this the first Hunger Games movie because you will be lost and it is kinda slow in spots.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, OBAMACARE AND OTHER GREMLINS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Sunny High 82) 

First of all Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope everyone is safe and enjoying the holiday. We are thankful for all of our family and friends and the fact that we can tour this great country and enjoy the wonderful scenery like this from our visit to Yosemite.



Bob has been tearing out his hair recently researching Obamacare. He was one of many that lost his insurance because of Obamacare and after his experience it should be called the "Unaffordable Care Act", at least for us. He is not old enough for Medicare, who thought the day would come when you were looking forward to Medicare?

Here are the cold hard numbers, premiums went up 80% over what he was paying for retiree coverage. That premium is now about 1/3 of his pension. The deductible and out of pocket maximum are both higher. We think this change will easily double what we were paying before after you add in the higher deductible and out of pocket expenses. The only good news is that he signed with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas which we know is a good company.

Finally, we got some feedback that our description of the great horned gremlin that was causing our trailer brake problem might need some better explanation. Here is hopefully a better picture.



Here is hopefully a better description. The above is a picture of the brake wire that was cut out. The plastic insulation on the wire was peeled back forming the horns by the wire rubbing against the grommet that it ran through into the frame. As we bounced along the rubbing exposed the bare copper, you may have to zoom in to see the exposed copper, which then shorted out occasionally. If you click on the photo it should become bigger. We think this great horned gremlin was the problem with the trailer wiring.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LAST TRAILER BRAKE GREMLIN - A HORNED GREMLIN AT THAT

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 37 Sunny High 72) 

We had quite the time chasing all the trailer brake gremlins away. We would change something (pigtail plug, truck socket, power line to the brakes, etc.) and the problem would appear to be fixed but crop up later down the road. The last fix was good for about 800 miles and 5 trips. Exhausting all the possibilities from the truck towards the actual brakes it was time to examine the brakes.

Dale's Mobile Service in Albuquerque first tested the workings of the brakes and they were OK. Then he checked the power line from one side of the trailer to the other that runs through the axle. One line had a small defect that may have been an issue but the other line revealed the great horned gremlin.




The insulation was peeled back exposing both power and ground leads. The gremlin was just waiting for the right bad road conditions to strike. Although all the other things we changed out "could" have been a problem this certainly appears to be the culprit. 

We had trips from Albuquerque to Gallup, from Gallup to Winslow, from Winslow to Congress and finally Congress to Goodyear and we had brakes all the way every time. We think we finally found the gremlin, a great horned gremlin at that.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO GOODYEAR ARIZONA

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 37 Abundant Sunshine High 70) 

After a great couple of weeks at Escapees North Ranch in Congress Arizona we headed yesterday to our winter home. It was approximately 60 miles, here is the route we took.



We had brakes the entire way and arrived safely at are at our usual place, Destiny Phoenix West.



We will be here until early March. While here we plan to blog at least once a week but our days here are more relaxed than when we are traveling across the country. We have a few blog entries from our stay in Congress and others that we hope won't bore you too much.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, November 17, 2014

DAY IN THE DESERT - CRESTED SAGUARO

Currently in Congress AZ (Low 35 Mostly Sunny Currently 45)
Heading to Goodyear AZ (Currently 41 Plenty of Sun but Cool High 67) 

We teased earlier with a photo of a crested saguaro. Here is our adventure getting there. We have been lot sitting at Escapees North Ranch near Congress Arizona the last couple weeks, parked next door to the Roving Riders. They have a Polaris side-by-side ATV and we went on multiple trips to the desert. We really enjoy the ruggedness of the desert. We also got a chance to drive the Polaris, aka the blue buggy. Here is Jo really enjoying her turn at the wheel.



The desert on the way to the crested saguaro.





Saguaros are everywhere.



We came across a dead saguaro. Notice the woody spines that provide the support for these beasts.





Congress in the distance.



A couple more shots of the crested saguaro.




We liked this shot of the crested and regular saguaro with the mountains in the distance and a barrel cactus closer.



It was a great day in the desert.

Today we are heading to our winter spot at Destiny RV in Goodyear Arizona, Lord willing and the slideout comes in, AND the brakes work.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo